In Memory: Betty X Davis

By Lindsey Lane

On January 5, 2022, Betty X Davis vacated her seat at the front row of our BookPeople launches. At one hundred and six years old, still quoting Shakespeare at length and spouting snippets of French, it seemed like she might live forever. But alas, she slipped away, quietly, as one does when they’ve been to an excellent party,

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Guest Post: Chris Barton & Jennifer Ziegler on the “This One’s Dedicated to…” Video Series

By Chris Barton and Jennifer Ziegler

Time is everything.

We know that’s not quite how the old saying goes. But time — the scarcity of it, the abundance of it, the passage of it, how we choose to fill ours or ask others to spend theirs — has shaped all aspects of our new kidkit video series,

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Guest Interview: Kathi Appelt & Cynthia Leitich Smith on Rebirth in the Neversea

By Kathi Appelt

This interview includes plot spoilers for Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Heartdrum, June 1, 2021). You may want to bookmark and return to it after reading the story.

Cover art by Floyd Cooper (Muscogee); from the promotional copy:

Lily and Wendy have been best friends since they became stepsisters.

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In Memory: Jerry Wermund

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Our deepest sympathies to the friends, family, colleagues, and readers of Texas children’s author and poet Jerry Wermund, who died July 15 at age 94. He’s pictured above at a Texas Library Association conference.

A founding member of Austin’s SCBWI chapter, Jerry was a geologist who began writing for children after retiring from the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin.

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Co-Authors Interview: Tami Lewis Brown & Debbie Loren Dunn

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Today I’m excited to interview two fellow Vermont College of Fine Arts graduates, Tami Lewis Brown and Debbie Loren Dunn about their new nonfiction picture book, Instructions Not Included, illustrated by Chelsea Beck (Disney-Hyperion, 2019).

Congratulations on Instructions Not Included! It’s a fun and inspiring book.

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Author Interview: Bethany Hegedus on Crafting Picture Book Biographies With Heart

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Bethany Hegedus is an award-winning writer and a tireless champion of encouraging others to push beyond their fear and obstacles. I’m very excited to share Bethany’s insight on tackling tough subjects and writing from the heart with Cynsations readers!

Her newest book, Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People,

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New Voices: Meredith Davis & Nicole Valentine On Being An Author

By Gayleen Rabakukk

I’m thrilled to introduce two debut authors to the Cynsations audience today. I met both at Vermont College of Fine Arts several years ago while we were all working on MFAs in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Both write middle grade, but their books are very different, illustrating the depth and diversity that exists in children’s literature.

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2019 Europolitan Con: Authors Kathi Appelt & Chitra Soundar, Editor Naomi Colthurst

Cynsations Note: This is the first in a series of posts highlighting the upcoming SCBWI Europolitan Conference, set for May 4 and May 5 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Today’s post features faculty members Naomi Colthurst, editor at Penguin Random House Children’s, as well as authors Kathi Appelt and Chitra Soundar.

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Guest Post: Lindsey Lane on Reframing the Reality of Books Going Out of Print, Part 2: Author/Illustrator Perspective

By Lindsey Lane

When an author or an illustrator gets the news that their book is going out of print (OP) or out of stock (OS), it is a blow. A tragedy. It feels like a death in the family.

After all, a book is a creation, something that sprang from our imaginations,

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Career Achievers: Kathi Appelt on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author

Career Achievers: Kathi Appelt on Thriving as a Long-Time, Actively Publishing Children’s-YA Author

Learn more about Kathi Appelt. Photo by Igor Kraguljak.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

In children’s-YA writing, maintaining an active publishing career is arguably an even bigger challenge than breaking into the field, yes?

I would agree with that. Over these many years I’ve seen superstars come and go. And I do realize that some of that is just basic human nature—we all want to see who is the new best thing,

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